Ohbijou from Toronto and Library Voices from Regina played great sets at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn Thursday night Nov. 4. A six-piece outfit, Ohbijou’s music is like a space jam with soaring notes and lyrical interludes with great vocals by sisters Casey and Jenny Mecija, who also play guitar and violin respectively. A seven-piece, Library Voices has a brash, fun sound with vibrant catchy hooks, bookish song titles and literary-minded lyrics (“Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers,” “If Raymond Carver Were Born in the 90s,” “Prime Minister’s Daughter), and a very athletic performing style. It was great hanging with all the band members before, during, and after their sets. Had fun chatting with Jenny and her boyfriend, Eoin, bassist of Library Voices, about Canadian writers, including Pierre Berton and Farley Mowat. Farley is a longtime friend to Eoin’s father, who works for the Library Association of Canada. Because Ohbijou currently has a popular song called Niagara I mentioned that in the 90s I’d published Berton’s great book Niagara: A History of the Falls, which garnered front-page treatment on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. Their lyrics riff on some of the same dangerous features of the falls that characterizes Berton’s narrative: “You collapsed into iron arms/A bridge, a crossing into desperate parts/We filled this quiet, this poison cup.” Several members of fellow Regina band Rah Rah were also in the house–Leif Thorseth, Joel Passmore, and Kristina Hedlund–adding to the good times for all.
Neil’s the best. What a beautiful concert he played for the kids at the Bridge School. The lyrics of “Sugar Mountain,” all about the uneasy passage from childhood to adulthood, are especially meaningful here. The cover of the old Youngbloods song, “Get Together,” was a special way to close the night. I treasure Neil Young.
Tuesday night Nov. 1 was an exciting evening and got the new month off with a real bang. After participating in the reception for the American Philosophical Society at the Grolier Club (detailed in another post) I went to Brooklyn’s Powerhouse Arena for PEN America’s reception for new members, of which I am one. Saw […]
Toronto musician Matt Barber came though NYC this week and played a dynamic set of his own songs. He was joined on one tune by his girlfriend, actress Alexis Taylor. They sang lovely harmonies together. The venue was the performance room at Brooklyn’s Rock Shop, which has a fabulous warm sound. Also playing were the […]
Fascinating NY Times obit of the man whose inventing led to modern hi-fi speakers, the Acoustic Research make, and KLH. I had both brands back in the day, and loved them. In the classic Travis McGee suspense novels by John D. MacDonald, Trav is always cranking up his AR-1s on his houseboat to enjoy some […]